Learning how to clean coffee pots effectively is a requirement in producing a great tasting pot of coffee. In fact, a clean coffee pot ensures not only taste, but the health and safety of your next morning cup of coffee as well. Coffee pots store build ups of coffee stain and coffee oil residue—and offer the warmth and moisture necessary to harbor bacteria growth as well if left unclean. Cleaning a coffee pot regularly is an easy measure to prevent both illness and foul tasting coffee.
Items Needed to Clean a Coffee Pot
- Coffee Pot
- 1 pint of White Vinegar or Commercial Coffee Pot Cleaner
- Liquid Dish Detergent
- Lemon Juice (optional)
Instructions for Cleaning a Coffee Pot
- Clean out leftover coffee grounds. Remove grounds and coffee filter from filter basket.
- Prepare some dishwater. Using the dish detergent in a prepared sink of hot dish water, clean both the filter basket and the carafe thoroughly in the hot soapy dish water, removing as much of the coffee residue as possible. Don’t worry if there are lingering stains—those will be removed throughout the cleaning process.
- Reassemble the coffee pot. Return the empty filter basket and carafe to the coffee maker—just as if you were going to make your morning coffee.
- Prepare the coffee pot with a de-scaling agent or cleaner. If you opt to use a commercial coffee pot cleaner, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific coffee pot and cleaner brand. If you choose to use White Vinegar, add one pint of undiluted White Vinegar to the water reservoir of your coffee pot, and turn on the pot to brew just as if you were making a normal pot of coffee. Leave the coffee pot on for approximately thirty seconds to allow the solution to enter the brewing mechanisms. Turn off the coffee pot and allow it to sit for thirty minutes. Note that the smell of white vinegar will likely fill the area, so be prepared with some air fresheners or turn on the kitchen exhaust fan!
- Finish “brewing” the cleaning solution. Turn the coffee pot on again and allow the brew cycle to complete. This will allow the cleaning solution to continue cleaning the remaining components of the coffee pot.
- Clean the dispensing unit if applicable. If your coffee maker brews the coffee directly into a glass carafe for pouring, this step does not apply. If your coffee maker brews the coffee into a holding tank for dispensing by the individual cup—the dispenser must also be cleaned. Do this by running two to three cups of the cleaning solution or vinegar into a standard coffee cup through the normal dispensing method after brewing stops.
- Flush the coffee maker completely with water. Once you run either commercial cleaner or white vinegar through the coffee pot, you will need to rinse thoroughly with water to remove any lingering scent or taste of the cleaning materials. Do this by running at least two full pots of water through the unit using the standard coffee preparation cycle.
- Wash the carafe and filter basket again. Using ¼ cup of lemon juice or a fragrant dish detergent, re-wash your coffee carafe and filter basket to remove any remaining cleaning agents or scents.
- Reassemble your coffee pot. Reassemble the coffee maker and begin use as normally.
- Repeat cleaning process monthly or as needed. Monthly cleanings are recommended as minimum routine maintenance for most coffee makers. If you use your coffee pot daily, more frequent cleanings may be needed.